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Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Four Horsemen of Cloud Computing

The first four of the seven seals, as described in the last book of the New Testament, represented pestilence, war, famine and death.  These four seals were depicted as beasts riding on white, red, black and pale-green horses.  These Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, as they became to be known, were said to have been unleashed to warn of upcoming events -- including the Day of Judgment.

That is heavy stuff.

Ok, now fast-forward some 2,000 years, and we had the "lite" version of the Four Horsemen:  Cisco, EMC, Oracle and Sun Microsystems.

Much less intimidating than famine or death, and certainly not as serious, but still imposing in their own right.

These were the four companies who prior to the rupture of the Internet bubble, were firing on all cylinders.

EMC had reinvented and reinvigorated the data storage solutions industry.

Oracle was king of the database software world.

Cisco networked the universe and at one point became the world's most valuable company.

And Sun "the network is the computer" Microsystems was happy, for a time, to sell the world as many high-end servers as it could manufacturer.

As a result, Wall Street had christened these companies the Four Horsemen of the Internet.

Today, three of the four continue to dominate their market segments while one has been subsumed by the other and lives on in technology only, no longer in name.

Although three of the four companies that comprised the Four Horsemen live on, The Four Horsemen of the Internet is done.  It's time has come and gone. Their 15 minutes of fame behind them.

Make way for the The Four Horsemen of Cloud Computing.

In alphabetical order, here they are, the Four Horsemen of Cloud Computing.

Akamai:  "At Akamai we've been optimizing the cloud for over ten years, building a global computing platform for over ten years, building a global computing platform that helps make cloud computing a reality."

Google: "the elephant in the cloud."

VMware:  "Advancing the Foundation for Cloud Computing."

But wait a minute. That's only three horsemen.

Well, I guess we could go with The Three Horsemen of Cloud Computing.  But to me, it lacks the panache of "The Four Horsemen of Cloud Computing."

Do you agree that we need a fourth?

If you do, please weigh in.

The cloud computing company that gets the most mentions will become the fourth horseman of cloud computing.   And you'll get the satisfaction knowing you helped make it happen.


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